News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
United line up like this:
Starting Team: De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa, Hernández
Subs: Lindegaard, Büttner, Smalling, Fellaini, Nani, Young, Januzaj
Manager David Moyes ‘expects’ a tough challenge from the Spaniards tonight.
“I watched Sociedad a lot last year and was really impressed by how well they did,” the boss told reporters. “The loss of one or two players has made it harder for them this year and maybe the expectations have been much bigger. The games I've watched I've been impressed,” he explained.
“They change their style with one defensive midfielder and sometimes two. They had a good result at Valencia on Saturday and we have to be mindful of what they can do. Old Trafford is a big place to come and play football but it's also an enjoyable place. We hope they don't enjoy it too much.”
In team news, David Moyes has doubts over the fitness of centre-backs Rio Ferdinand and captain Nemanja Vidic – both missed the 1-1 draw with Southampton last weekend with ‘minor knocks’.
Tom Cleverley is also a major doubt as his calf injury meant he missed training yesterday, as was Danny Welbeck. However Adnan Januzaj is available and included in the squad.
United are expected to debut a ‘singing section’ at Old Trafford this evening in the clash with Real Sociedad, as an experiment for plans to improve the atmosphere at Old Trafford.
In transfer news, former England boss Fabio Capello has revealed United were the club that bid £100 million for Gareth Bale who signed on for a world record £85.6 million to Real Madrid this summer.
“Bale? There was an auction,” said Capello.
"I know that someone offered more than Real, going as high as €120m (£100m). I don't think I'm revealing any secrets when I say that it was Manchester United.”
The Express also reveals United ‘overlooked’ Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in 2010 in favour of signing Bebe, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.
In other news, further revelations have come out following Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography release yesterday, including Ferguson’s remarks that Carlos Tevez ‘wasn’t worth’ the transfer fee he was sold to Manchester City for in 2009, thought to be £47 million.
He also revealed Chelsea bid £35 million for the Argentine striker.
Finally, United midfield veteran Darren Fletcher has returned to training after his struggles since being diagnosed with a bowel condition and ‘could’ return to action soon.
image: © eirikref